Local Moree surveying company, SMK Consultants (SMK), has partnered with large Gold Coast-based surveyors Bennett + Bennett (B+B) in tendering for the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) Inland Rail section.
Should the partnership be successful in its tender, SMK will manage the substantial Cadastral and boundary component of the 180 kilometre project, while B+B will take on the construction element.
B+B managing director Mark Billsborough grew up in Goondiwindi and during his young survey training days undertook experience through Ralph Kinsella, director of SMK.
"Our partnership with SMK, if successful in its tender, will benefit Moree as local surveyors will be engaged as well - first choice," he said.
Mr Kinsella said he believes this partnership will be a "very competitive" tenderer.
"This is a local team in the middle of this N2NS section and we are well set up," he said.
"B+B bring serious rail construction experience and we know the local cadastre and rail corridor like no other."
B+B rail specialist Matt Strahley, who is also the grandson of local farming legend Don Quast, said the project will provide opportunities to many local business and suppliers and draw additional workforce back to Narrabri, Moree and North Star.
"This project presents a fantastic opportunity for a return back to this area given the long-standing family history here," he said.
The winning builder for the project will be announced in September this year, with just two constructors left in the running - Lend Lease and JHG/SEECivil.
The B+B/SMK partnership has submissions with both teams and hopes to begin initial works before the main construction wave in September if successful.
An ARTC spokesperson said they are keen to see the Moree community benefit from the project, with the works package for the N2NS section set to create hundreds of construction jobs, generating significant spend with local businesses.
"On the first section of Inland Rail between Parkes and Narromine, we saw more than $100 million spent with local businesses and nearly 700 local residents work on the project," the spokesperson said.
"There were 99 local businesses that supplied goods to the project in some form, and we are keen to make continuing meaningful contributions to towns along the alignment such as Moree.
"We want to work hand-in-hand with local communities to make sure these benefits flow.
"We know there is excitement building in the N2NS section as we move towards construction later this year, and local companies and workers are preparing themselves to be ready to hit the ground running."
To help locals prepare for Inland Rail in Moree, ARTC recently kicked off a number of civil construction training workshops in partnership with Moree Plains Shire Council, Narrabri Shire Council, Gwydir Shire Council and industry groups, providing local people with the skills they need to work with Inland Rail.
To stay up-to-date with the progress of the Narrabri to North Star section, or to find out more information on how to be involved in the procurement process, visit www.inlandrail.artc.com.au/N2NS.